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Review: Cold Fury

Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein will be released in the U.S. on July 24, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 288 pages.

Cold Fury is the first book in a new series of the same name by author T.M. Goeglein.

***

Goodreads description:

Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure

Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance–until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It’s a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies–a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense–hidden in its pages the secret to “ultimate power.” It’s why she’s being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.

Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.

***

In an instant everything changed for Sara Jane Rispoli.

One minute she was arguing with her father. The next she was wishing she had waved goodbye.

One minute she had a close-knit, loving and peaceful family. And in the next they became one that kept secrets, told lies and betrayed those they loved. Even her.

And one minute all she had to worry about was going to the dance with a boy she liked. And in the next instant she had to find her family, uncover their secrets, discover the truth behind their lies, find out who betrayed her and fight just to survive.

All this on her sixteenth birthday.

With only a notebook to guide her, and not wanting to risk the life of the only person she knew she could trust, Sara Jane would have to rely her instincts, her ability to fight and the power of the cold fury within her to stay alive and find her family.

If, that is, her family was even still alive to be found.

***

Cold Fury is an incredibly imaginative, exciting, tension-filled and wildly entertaining first book in a new series from author T.M. Goeglein. It takes readers on a journey through and beneath the streets of Chicago with a young, but tough, smart and resilient heroine as she searches for answers about her family’s disappearance and a past she didn’t even know was a part of their history.

Told in the first person from Sara Jane Rispoli’s point of view, the story flows beautifully, allowing readers to get a peek into her thoughts about the discoveries she makes, the abilities she has and the small group of people she has let into her life. And it allows them to discover Chicago through her newly opened eyes.

As Sara Jane tries to stay one step ahead of those who are after her, she discovers that everything she thought she knew was not as it seemed. And the world that opens up to her is filled with dangers she never imagined. Enemies she thought were friends. And mysteries beyond her wildest imagination.

Cold Fury is gritty, it’s dark, it’s utterly riveting. Its pages are filled with action, danger and suspense, with the backdrop of a city that is painted beautifully by the author. A city that has a violent but fascinating history. And a city whose past is very much connected to Sara Jane’s.

Author T.M. Goeglein has taken a chance with his debut YA novel. Cold Fury does not check off all the boxes of stories typically in this genre. There is no hero that swoops in to save the day who is equally matched to the heroine. Though the fiercely independent Sara Jane does have help, she proves just how able she is to do without.

The paranormal element does not becomes the main focus of the story. While cold fury does play a role, it doesn’t overshadow Sara Jane’s human abilities as a fighter, her smarts or her determination.

And the premise is one not common in young adult fiction. A story that is based on a realistic criminal enterprise in a setting where syndicated crime goes way back is definitely not mainstream. It is unique. And exciting. And a fresh addition to the genre.

For those readers who are looking for something just a little bit different and a whole lot thrilling, Cold Fury is an absolute must read. Mystery. Tension. Action. Nail-biting suspense. A street-smart protagonist. A notebook filled with secrets to be discovered. A power whose depth has only been hinted at. And a world that promises so much more.

Not only is Cold Fury an addictive story, but it’s one that will be unputdownable.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

What an amazing book this was. I knew that I would love it. From the moment I read the description for Cold Fury I knew that this would be a book that stood out from the crowd. And I knew that it had all the elements of a book I could easily fall in love with. Just from the description. A fierce heroine, a fast pace, action, darkness, danger, romance, secrets and a mystery that needed to be solved. Yes, that description made it sound as if it would be awesome.

And it absolutely did not disappoint. In fact, Cold Fury surprised me. I expected all of those things to fill the pages, to keep me engrossed in the story. And they were all there. But what I did not expect was for the writing to transport me to a world that wasn’t always dark and gritty, to a city with a rich, exciting and absolutely fascinating history. One that while dark and violent was also quite beautiful.

The author’s writing pulled me in, instantly, to his story and world. It embraced me and made me feel as if I was right there, discovering those hidden passageways, uncovering the family secrets, learning about the world beneath the world that was this author’s Chicago. Right there, alongside Sara Jane Rispoli, a main character who was incredibly tough, brave and resourceful, but who was easy to sympathize with for all that she had to go through.

I thought the author did an incredible job of taking an idea that is traditionally aimed at an adult audience or written about in a historical sense – the Mob and, in specific, Chicago’s history with the Mob – and making it appropriate for a younger one. And I love that he did this through a female main character.

I also loved getting to see a side of Chicago that I have never seen before. One that blends fantasy and reality but in a way that makes it all feel very real.

And while the story touches upon the violence of the Mob throughout Chicago’s history and Sara’s family’s connection to it, it doesn’t go over the top. Nor does it soft-sell it.

But what I most loved about the book was being able to watch the story unfold through Sara’s eyes as she discovered secrets about her family’s sordid and violent past, uncovered betrayals from those she once trusted, and began to understand a little bit more about the power she possessed, the cold fury.

While the surface has only been scratched in this first book in the series with the elements of the supernatural, it definitely hints that there is more to come. More to be learned. More to be unleashed.

And I can’t wait. The ending left off, while not completely on the side of a cliff, as if it were holding its breath. Waiting for what comes next. Just as I am.

Favorite Passage:

I actually have several favorite passages. Many involve the author’s descriptions of Chicago. A few, taken out of context, don’t have the same impact they do as when contained within the story. And my favorite, about the notebook, reveals too much.  But this was one of two that topped the list, although I removed a few words within to eliminate any possible spoilers.

All forms of betrayal are poison.

Whether it’s being used as fresh meat in a boxing ring or violating the code of decency that dictates sidewalk behavior, it creates a bitter protective crust over a person’s soul. Having my secret fears and self-doubt used as currency against me…was a transgression so deep that it has infested me with a true, pure hatred. It has sparked a flame of desire for vengeance that’s stronger than any silly, lingering feelings of affection I once felt for him.

That flame is lit in me now, and it’s burning blue and cold.


Book Trailer:

This review is based on an ARC I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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